The 300-year-old Chinese vase sold for £2.6m at an auction in Leyburn, North Yorkshire, England
A Chinese porcelain vase once knocked over by the family cat fetched just over £3 million at auction – One hundred and twenty three times times more than expected.
The 300-year-old blue and white vase, not dissimilar to the one which famously sold for £53 million two years ago, was bought by an unnamed Chinese telephone bidder based in Hong Kong.
The price escalated after a fierce eight-way, ten-minute bidding battle at the North Yorkshire salerooms of Tennants Auctioneers.
The owner of the antique Chinese vase had no idea of its value, and it was only discovered by Tennants, during a routine house call to value the contents.
The 40cm high bottle-shaped vase, bearing the mark of 18th century Emperor Yongzheng, was conservatively estimated at £20,000-£30,000.
But word quickly spread around the antiques world and collectors and dealers from China were prominent in the crowded saleroom as the bidding quickly soared.
It was knocked down for £2.6 million, which with buyer’s premium pushed the final price to just over £3 million.
Tennants spokesman Max Sobolevski said afterwards: ‘Having spent over 40 years in one house the vase had survived being knocked over by the family cat and had even escaped all damage when the children played football around it.’
The vase, featuring two five-clawed dragon, is painted in the ‘heap and pile’ technique characteristic of earlier Ming Dynasty period pieces.
The 40 cm high bottle-shaped vase was sold by Tennants Auctioneers in North Yorkshire
In 2010 a Chinese vase found in the UK was sold for £53 million.
Tony Johnson, 54, from the Isle of Wight, sold the artifact from the 1740 Qing dynasty to billionaire Chinese property developer Wang Jianlin.
It was said to have been brought back from China by an ‘adventurous uncle’ after being stolen from an imperial palace by British troops during the 19th Century Opium Wars.
The vase was then at the centre of a legal row between the auction house and Wang Jianlin, and 18 months after the sale Johnson has still not received a penny from the sale.
Attribution: Mail Online